How maths modelling helps efforts to eradicate banana bunchy top virus

Modelling the predicted movements of pervasive sap-sucking tiny insects before they infest banana crops has the potential to become a key tactic in the fight against a devastating virus, according to researchers with ACEMS at QUT.

Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) is an aphid-transmitted banana disease that has been in Australia since 1913 and has been contained by biosecurity agencies to southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Badly affected plants will not produce fruit if left unchecked and entire plantations can become infested.

BBTV cannot be cured and infected plants must be destroyed.

ACEMS/QUT researchers have designed a model that tracked the probability of a banana plant being infected by aphids that carried the disease, with the findings published in PLOS Computational Biology.

Read the full story from QUT.